Also known as camel crickets and spider crickets, cave crickets are dark brown insects with large antennas that can grow over 4 inches long. If you have an infestation of these creepy invertebrates, you’re wondering how to get rid of cave crickets.
While they don’t bite or sting, their large hind legs allow them to jump several feet. Having a cave cricket infestation in your home, garage, or shed is definitely inconvenient. Not to mention, they can look like scary spiders walking around or jump at you due to their bad eyesight.
How to get rid of cave crickets – 12 tips
Here we give you 12 methods that will help you, including some useful tips to prevent future infestations.
1. Run a dehumidifier
Cave crickets love dark, damp places to live and reproduce. Reducing the moisture in your home, garage, or wherever they are infesting is a great way to reduce the cricket population. Using a dehumidifier can make your space less comfortable, so the crickets are more likely to move out voluntarily.
Dehumidifiers help remove any excess moisture from the air to dry up your home. They’re also great for preventing mold and dust mites. Since crickets love to eat fungi, any mold in your space provides them with an attractive food source.
2. Use a vacuum
If you see cave crickets jumping around your house, hold the urge to use a fly swatter or drop a book on them. They are large insects that will make a big mess as a result. Instead, use a vacuum to suck them up and easily dispose of them outdoors.
Hand-held vacuums are best for this method since you can direct them at cracks and better catch one jumping through the air if they become startled by the vacuum noise.
3. Use commercial chemicals
Insect sprays designed to kill cave crickets are widely available online and at local hardware stores. Ortho is a popular brand that has sprays and insecticides that can be applied around your home’s foundation. While effective in killing, this method is not ideal if you have pets or young children at home since the chemicals are toxic.
4. Try home remedies
If you’re concerned about the chemicals in commercial products, you can make your own natural killer at home. For example, boric acid kills crickets once ingested by targeting their digestive and nervous systems. Mix it with some honey to make a natural killing mixture that attracts them. Be aware, however, boric acid can be toxic for pets.
Cedar oil is also deadly for cave crickets. It emulsifies them. You can also use Diatomaceous earth around your home. This powder is made from fossilized algae sediments and will dehydrate the crickets.
5. Apply smell repellents
Another home remedy trick is to run them out with unpleasant smells. Cave crickets dislike the smell of peppermint, lemons, and cinnamon the most.
Use cleaners based on these scents around your home or light candles with these scents in the areas of infestation. It’s a powerful smell that will make them keep their distance.
6. De-clutter your space
Although they love fungi, cave crickets aren’t fussy eaters and will feed on various things, including cardboard, wood, and fabrics. By cutting down on your clutter, especially cardboard boxes, you will help eliminate their food sources and potential hiding spots. Remember, they like dark, damp places, so do a survey of your space to remove anything that resembles these criteria.
A better method for storing things is to use airtight plastic containers. While they may eat plastic bags, they are less likely to chow down on plastic boxes.
7. Clean outside debris
For the same reason as above, you also want to monitor the outsides of your home for any cave cricket hiding places. Removing their outdoor haunts that are close to entrances of your home, shed, or garage will reduce the likeliness of more entering your house as you deal with the existing infestation.
These crickets tend to make their way indoors when the weather outside is dry and hot. Therefore as a preventative measure tip, make sure you always do this step before the summer months.
8. Place glue traps
A popular method of removing cave crickets is to place sticky traps in the locations you’ve encountered them wandering or jumping around. These traps have adhesive glues on them that the crickets will get stuck to, allowing for easy removal. Alternatively, some loops of duct tape could work for this method. However, the sticky traps will be more sturdy and effective.
Place the traps where floors and walls intersect, so the crickets are more likely to stumble into them. You can also bait them by placing moldy bread on the traps, which has fungi – their favorite food.
9. Use soapy water traps
Another way to bait the cave crickets is to place shallow bowls of soapy water around your home, garage, or shed. They love moisture and will be attracted to the water. However, if they try to drink soapy water, they will drown. Dispose of the drowned cricket outside as soon as you see one to keep your water trap effective.
10. Let your cat hunt
Cats love hunting for cave crickets, so let them loose if you have a pet cat. If you don’t have a cat, maybe your neighbor or friend will let you borrow their cat for a day. Crickets are non-toxic and safe for cats to eat. In fact, they’re a good source of iron, protein, omega fatty acids, and vitamin B-12.
11. Seal any entry areas
As you’re removing cave crickets from your home, the last thing you want is more entering from outside. Find any openings that could be an entry point for them and seal the area with caulking or weather stripping to eliminate easy access.
Since these little guys like basements and crawl spaces, make sure to seal the lowest levels of your home, such as ground-level doors and basement windows. This method also acts as a preventative measure to avoid future infestations.
12. Call a professional
Sometimes the infestation is too out of control that you need to call for help. Local pest control companies have the expertise and tools to get rid of cave crickets. They will typically start with an assessment of the infestation.
Most of the time, they will use chemical solutions around the perimeter of your property. However, if the indoor infestation is large and threatens your property value, they can recommend indoor chemical treatment.